Where Is The Best “Fancy” Restaurant In Town?


You know what I mean. The restaurant that you’ll go to for celebrations – birthdays, anniversaries, new jobs etc. My all time favorite is Obelisk on P Street off Dupont Circle. It is in a row house and the menu changes daily. Ridiculously good. You’ll need reservations in advance as the seating is limited. So what’s your go to celebration spot?

Here were the recommendations for best tapas, bar to watch football, wine bar, Chinese, Latino/Mexican, hidden restaurants, Italian, Sushi, Indian, falafel, Ethiopian, and Middle Eastern.

45 Comment

  • definitely komi on 17th street. unbelievable.

  • Marcel’s on Penn Ave. Way back in the day – Red Sage…

  • If you’re willing to cross the river, Restaurant Eve.

  • Komi Komi Komi

  • I’ll second the votes for Komi and Restaurant Eve! Dino in Cleveland Park is also great, and less expensive than the other options.

  • Komi is great, but at $150 a pop it’s on the faaaaancy side of fancy.

    For tasting menus in the $85 range (like Obelisk), try Palena or Vidalia. They’re both excellent.

  • FOGO DE CHAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • i dont hit fancy places often and haven’t been to the other places mentioned, but the wife and i went to CitiZen once for an anniversary. it was the best meal i’ve ever had.

  • 5 guys, anyone?

  • I went to Poste (next to the spy museum) a couple of times. Both times were excellent! They had a braised rabbit that was to die for! Also, I am a big fan of Agraria on the waterfront next to Sequioya. They use only free range meat and oraganic veggies/fruits for all of you that are into that.

    I don’t know if those are fancy enough but they were tasty!

  • Citronelle, in Georetown….Makoto in Cleveland Park…Nora Restaurant on T…Perry’s Rooftop in Adams Morgan…all of those are pretty expensive so definitely cant go there often….heard great things abt komi but never made it….

  • Acadiana

  • Nora’s in Dupont and Bistro d’Oc downtown…

  • All the good ideas are popping up. Always check Washingtonian’s Top 100 list. They are listed in order. It’s a shame the chef from Gerard’s Place retired to teach in Maryland. He was the only actively cooking two-star chef in the United States before he retired. It was so good. Who’ been to the Mardarin Oriental or ventured out to Maestro in Tysons Corner?

  • The Willard Room at the Willard Hotel (duh). It’s old school fancy.

  • I second the Willard, they make a meaaaan mint julep.

  • I freaking love Bistro d’Oc.

  • I always end up at one of Tosca, Charlie Palmer, or Oceanaire for fancy bill-it-back-to-the-client lunches/dinners for work.

    Last January I had the pleasure of going to MiniBar @ Cafe Atlantico. It was definitely all that it was cracked up to be.

  • And it’s a good thing that their drinks are good, as you need several of them. That way, at the end of the night, you’re all numb and happy, so the pain of the amount you just spend doesn’t really sting quite as bad.

    …. then 15 days later, your credit card bill arrives and it has an outlandish charge from ‘Intercontinental Hotels’ to which you immediately call the fraud alert line, and only hours later realize that it wasn’t fraud, but champagne….

    Not that it’s happened to me or anything.

  • My picks are Central (downtown) and DC Coast (McPherson Sq.).

  • Nora
    Mark and Orlando’s (P St, west of the circle)
    Central Michel Richard

  • Ah, the Willard. Wood panelling, team service, old-school standing rack of lamb….

    The only time we went there, were were celebrating (a) my passage of the bar exam, (b) our upcoming wedding, (c) our friend Special K’s birthday, (d) our friend J’s birthday, and (e) the impending birth of M & J’s first child. That many special occasions were necessary to justify the bill. I had a $50 glass of scotch there. I’m just saying.

  • Blue Duck Tavern.

  • 1789

    Great service, great food.

  • Capital Grille. Best steak in town.

  • Kinkead’s, Spezie

  • Nora’s has been our celebratory mainstay. I will never forget getting a glass of vintage port from the same year I was born (1963) on my birthday. It cost nearly as much of as the rest of my meal. I have great friends.


  • Cashions Eat Place! Gotta put in a plug for that ’cause my boyfriend works there. 🙂

    When we go elsewhere for a big occasion, it’s nearly always Palena. Komi is next on the list to try!

  • Been liking The Sourse at the Newseum lately

  • Cafe Atlantico and Ceiba are excellent (I think they’re both “Nuevo Latino” cuisine).

  • Equinox

  • corduroy – used to be hidden inside the sheraton four points, but now in own place in penn quarter. awesome food for fancy-lite prices.

  • Gotta put a shoutout for the Brightwood Bistro, which is my new fav. Granted a crappy area but great food, great owners, etc.

  • Blue Duck! Outside by the fountain if the weather is nice!

  • New Heights is terrific. Palena is also great. I ate at Nora once and loved it but I’ve heard it’s gone downhill.

  • I’ll second the vote for Minibar. DEFINITELY a splurge, but it is a truly unique, amazing dining experience.

  • @Stadkind

    If Corduroy is now in penn quarter than I live in Dupont Circle and not Shaw. Corduroy is on 9th right across from the Convention Center and next to Wagtime’s small doggy daycare. So, it’s in Mt. Vernon, not Penn Quarter. Or have the realtors taken to call that area Penn Quarter too?

  • BTW, my favorite expensive restaurants are Acadiana (charboiled oysters!), Komi (white tuna wrapped with speck) and Brasseire Beck.

  • Haven’t been to Nora or Komi, but of those I’ve been to, best meal I had was Marcel’s. Decidedly old school, but everything was spectacular. Corduroy also great — I wasn’t a huge fan of the old location, but I thought the food and particularly the atmosphere were HUGELY improved now that they are in Shaw.

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